Tactical Rehabilitation has become a desired company on many military bases providing the best in what serving others is all about. From its employee to its leaders, tactical Rehabilitation has developed a culture and a code of honor in serving those in uniform and ensuring the best possible care is delivered where it is needed most, those serving their country in support of their fellow man.
We caught up with Tactical Rehabilitation CEO – Kevin MacRitchie, and asked him just why Tactical Rehabilitation makes such a difference and why he finds himself so honored to lead it.
1. Tell us about the company.
A: Tactical Rehabilitation provides the best in quality service, support, products and solutions to the World’s Greatest Heroes, the United States Military personnel, with a special healthcare focus on Biomechanical and Parasomnia based solutions. Tactical Rehabilitation is a licensed provider to the military and services active duty, families, and retirees ensuring at every stage of service and every stage of life, every member can sustain “Service Ready” status and protect the world’s freedoms.
2. What were the initial challenges you faced?
A: Like all companies seeking to enter the healthcare industry, it is daunting. Regulations, bureaucracy, inspections, policies, insurance company procedures and more. Tactical Rehabilitation founder, and Chairman of the Board, David Marr, had done this before in the private sector. For David, that was not enough, as he pervade the healthcare sector seeking to bring more value and better service where needed, David recognized the military was receiving sub-par solutions and products. For those that lay their lives on the line in the name of freedom. David set forth his mission to rectify this.
As he made his way through the typical start-up obstacles any company has, he developed partnerships and sought out retired military as employees so that Tactical Rehabilitation, at the core of the company, would understand the need and desire for better service and better healthcare with those that have seen what was available first hand. As a result, they would strive for every opportunity to provide “5-Star” service. It worked.
From there Tactical Rehabilitation has continually grown and expanded across the country and Internationally.
3. Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
A: Like all companies there are multiple moments that propel a company forward. For Tactical it could be the formation of our Mission, Vision and Goals that Tactical Rehabilitation employees and partners rally around which is simply to be the best provider of healthcare services to the military, have the most qualified and certified staff, ensure we offer only the best products and solutions, and serve every patient with honor and pride. Most of our employees come from the military, so there is an additional sense of duty that comes with work here as well, and they teach that pride and duty to those that come from alternate industries rounding out our needed expertise.
Our doctors and base management teams may tell you it is that Tactical Rehabilitation serves almost exclusively the military, and that alone may be the reason so many come to us. With an average wait of over 60 days (according to the military healthcare administrators) with those serving civilian clients and military, Tactical Rehabilitation prides itself on a 48-72 hour window to book patients at the patients convenience.
Internally, we might also say when the now Board of Directors, then Entrepreneurs, decided to hire our CFO, Karen Lyons. She brought financial structure and a stronger focus on compliance and initial process management. She was pivotal to many of the changes we have made, including the hiring of myself as COO to focus on growth, process, sustainability, and improved patient care.
As CEO, my goals remain the same; Focus on constant improvement of our patient care, ensure the business is strong and here for future generations to serve and support our military heroes, create opportunity and growth for our employees, ensure we comply and work cooperatively with our certification and compliance partners, ensure our employees work hard to accomplish attainable goals and that they play as hard as they work with their families and friends.
4. How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics? (You can share the charts/graphs here).
A: From 2013 to 2019 Tactical Rehabilitation grew at a slow and moderate rate as we learned from our partners and doctors how to best serve them and ensure the products we chose met stringent standards of performance, what we call “Battle Tested”. It is exactly how we wanted to grow and at the pace we could properly support internally and externally.
From 2019 to present, the company has seen a much more rapid growth, doubling and more so, with strong efforts around organic and strategic growth, new geography targets, increasing the opportunities internationally and in specialty markets within the military, along with better and wiser partnerships that also see the honor and pride for which we support those in uniform.
It continues to be a fantastic place to be, one that now regularly attracts those with Masters degrees that want to get in on what is the current ground floor and rise with the potential they can bring and for which Tactical Rehabilitation has to offer.
5. What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?
A: Our employees will always be the reason for our success. Every employee works hard to ensure the entire team can provide the best for the heroes we serve. The amount of cross functional support and teamwork is simply incredible.
To continually support them, we offer continuous training, leadership development, management and HR courses, and are introducing an EMBA program for our potential future leaders. Tactical Rehabilitation’s goal is to inspire every employee to not only be their best, but also, to ensure we teach everyone to listen first, think, then respond so we can hear all the ideas from our diversely talented employee base and make the smartest decisions possible for the future.
We hope to also develop Tactical Rehabilitation future leaders at the same time with a strong sense of culture, a desire for patient success, and a balance of business needs that will ensure multi-generational longevity for Tactical Rehabilitation.
6. What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
A: Tactical Rehabilitation is a full service (Durable Medical Equipment) DME Provider with special emphasis on Biomechanical injuries. Our partners include our flagship Partner/Product Sole Supports Orthotics, the leading Orthotics that actually improve ones’ health rather than slowing the degradation of ones condition. Other principle partners include Don Joy, Aspen, SamPro, Pain Management Technologies, BetweenMD, A1 Development, and many more.
We work hard to pick leading industry products that are durable and will last along with providing a healing solution. We have a solid proven process on product testing that we continuously improve upon to ensure our standard only get tougher and tougher to meet.
The hard part, as a business, is the best products cost the most. At no time does the government or its insurance administrators modify payment for better products, so the worst product costing $13 or the best product costing $1300 still pays the same to companies like ours. Since we only offer the best products, we have an extremely strong focus on operations and a constant focus on improving Tactical Rehabilitation operational efficiencies and certified staff, in order to ensure a sustainable business. And we do it every day.
This constant focus on the best possible products will not change. While a profitable business is required to sustain our operations, unlike those that will defer to lessor quality products for the increased profits, we simply work harder to be more efficient so that we can provide the very best and meet our founder, David Marr’s purpose for creating Tactical Rehabilitation. It is why our Mission, Vision and Goals have stood the test of time and the reason we have too.
7. How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
A: We are always seeking new products and solutions and always seeking better ways to deliver them. This can be seen in the vast number of products we have in our pipeline for review and testing, many of which will simply not make the standards we require, however, you can bet the ones that do will offer new and improves solutions for current and future medical needs of our patients.
8. What do you think are the responsibilities of a Leader?
A: A great leader inspires others to perform better than they would on their own. When leaders set tough, yet attainable goals, coach and guide the team to work together to accomplish more than they could otherwise, and reward employees when goals are attained, I feel more frequently companies perform much better and with better employee morale.
Listening is also extremely important. Those closest to the business are the ones to listen to. When we forget that, and forget to ask, listen and learn, companies lose focus, and lose their way. Customers notice this in the morale and performance of those serving them, and in the modern world of social media and instant notification, the word spreads fast.
Last, I find it important to set the right boundaries of professional and personal with all employees. Most of my longest lasting and closest friends have been employees and co-workers, and any one of them will tell you we have two relationships, one that is work related and one that is professional related. They will also tell you I will never cross the line between and that I do not let them do so either. This line of professionalism keeps everyone on a level playing field at work and ensures everyone gets herd and no one feels like they are left out at work.
It is important for every employee to know there role matters the same as everyone else and that it is all the roles together that make a company and a team successful. Making sure every employee understands this and how they fit, along with their opportunities to grow within the company, makes for a culture conducive to change, growth, and success. The right change, ahead of the market curve, being the critical component to ongoing success.
9. Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
A: My career started before I understood what the term career even meant. I worked in my grandfather’s business by age 10 and did so all the way through college where one of my professors told me I had to had to take an internship with a company he had gotten for me. While I tried to turn it down, my professor insisted. That led me down so many paths of learning for 8 years, at which point t I joined Cisco Systems, a small company of approximately 330 people at the time. It was here I had great latitude to learn, train, try, test, implement, and be coached along with coaching others.
Every couple years I was rotated to new roles to learn new facets of the company and business eventually becoming the youngest Vice President in Cisco’s history. I continued to be asked to move about and become the guy nobody wanted to see get moved to their team as I was the turn-around business guy taking underperforming teams and quickly implementing strategies, structure, and process to ensure their quick return to success for the company overall.
It was an amazing place to learn and have the opportunity to serve in nearly every facet of the business. The training and development of every employee to maximize our opportunity for success as an individual and team player is one of the most valuable things I continue to try to bring to Tactical Rehabilitation.
10. What are the key achievements of your professional journey?
A: I view wealth measured in friends, rather than currency. Most every friend, and great friends, that have been long lasting, have come from my work. This should not be considered unusual as that is where I spend well over 80% of my time. When you set goals together, build teams, solve problems, and create careers for others together, you build a long lasting bond with people.
As far as my greatest success, I believe it is that I can name 50+ people off the top of my head that would come back to work with me just for the asking, without even knowing the job I would want them for. If I dug in my “rolodex” I know I would have more that would come. Many still contact me and say “If you ever have an opening that suits my skills…”. This tells me I have built long lasting professional relationships that have earned a mutual trust and respect with each of them, they like tough goals and accomplishing them together, and they value the way in which I have led them in the past.
It also means they will not cross my professional/friendship boundary by asking for roles they are not qualified for. I hope it means they feel I have been fair with them and their teams as well. If I was measuring someone’s ability to take over the COO role or CEO role in the future, I would ask this very question, “How many people of diverse talent and skills that you have led successfully in the past, can you call and get here to take the leadership roles necessary to carry the company forward?”
Their answer, which should include keeping the top talent already here and in place or developing. Potential in-house talent, will determine if they get an interview… or not.
11. How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?
A: Our employees are our “EVERTHING”. The represent us to our patients, the. Doctors we support, they have ideas we try to implement for improvement, and they have families that support their work at Tactical Rehabilitation, so we must honor them as well.
We work with our employee leaders to develop tough, but attainable goals, reward achievement, support employee led morale and process improvement ideas, and ensure we reward employees for the work they do.
We also focus on our employee education providing incentives for certifications, and other educational initiatives.
12. How important is it for your employees to be knowledgeable and how do you ensure they are?
A: Tactical Rehabilitation is the most certified per capita employee base of any company in our market. Every employee is required to be industry certified in one or more knowledge areas as a part of the function they perform within Tactical Rehabilitation. Our current certifications are nearing 130% of our company, meaning many of our employees carry multiple certifications relative to their role, while new employees are earning their first certifications.
We feel ensuring we have knowledgeable staff that are certified independently creates a competent and confident environment our patients and doctors recognize and appreciate.
13. Can you tell us which your favourite book is? And your favourite part of the book (if any)?
A: Two books…
For personal reading – The Buffalo Book by Dary. The best mix of the old west, history, and the plight of North Americas largest land mammal – The Buffalo. His style of writing and mixing of stories and facts is just an easy and pleasurable read and leaves you well informed. I learn best by facts through story telling.
Professionally, it is Culture Code. With this book I recommend reading the last three chapters first, then start from the beginning and reading all the way through those last three chapters again. This book is an amazing story telling and fact filled way to explore perpetual improvement, creating a culture to do so, and creating purpose entire companies can get behind.
14. One person who you admire the most?
A: My four grandparents will always be my greatest heroes. All they taught me and the time they spent with me has always been the foundation of who I am today.
15. Whose business story do you find the most inspiring?
A: The underdog… always. I will take the person that will get behind the bigger picture and work hard to accomplish it, and work as a team member supporting others every time over those that think they can do it alone.
Those that go it alone only ever create the opportunity that ends up as an easily collapsible house of card as they take too long to get people behind their solitude of ideas, even. When they are good ideas. What may have been a good plan at best rarely succeeds when teams are made up of one person.
16. Which is the most inspiring quote you have read?
A: “Don’t say I can’t on this work. The I can’ts are unknown in the world’s work and unremembered in history” – Gutzon Borglum
17. Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views.
A: Vigilance is a state of mind or being, not a strategy. It is important to be vigilant in our work toward our gaols and not become complacent.
18. It’s a rat-race out there. How do you cope with that?
A: Out of Chaos comes Opportunity. The more the chaos, the more opportunity that exists.
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